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Eight Reasons Why THE SWORDS OF FAITH Will Make a Great Movie (or Miniseries) March 7, 2012

Posted by rwf1954 in Berengeria, books, books into movies, crusades, Guy of Lusignan, Henry of Champagne, historical fiction, Jerusalem, Kingdom of Jerusalem, medieval period, Middle Ages, movies, movies based on books, Outremer, Philip II of France, Richard the Lionheart, Richard Warren Field, Saladin, the crusades, The Swords of Faith, third crusade.
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(The Swords of Faith is my award-winning novel about what history now calls the “Third Crusade,” the military confrontation in the Eastern Mediterranean “Holy Land” between Richard the Lionheart and Saladin.) 

  1. Action and drama revolving around two of history’s most renowned and charismatic characters, battling each other over huge stakes. Richard the Lionheart and Saladin are still two names known throughout much of the world, giving a movie based on this novel an international profile.
  2. This story has been told many times, but almost always with major factual liberties. The Swords of Faith gives a film-maker the opportunity to tell the accurate story, a compelling story not in need of embellishment.
  3. The Swords of Faith ends with a just and fair peace settlement between these two iconic men of different faiths (the accurate historical outcome), men who come to respect and honor each other despite their religious differences. This allows for an uplifting ending.
  4. The clash of religions gives the story relevance today, allowing for controversial publicity angles sure to get people talking about The Swords of Faith in many different public venues.
  5. Fictional characters combine seamlessly into the story, without any adjustments to the accurate history, but bringing a prescient poignancy to the religious-clash aspect.
  6. The novel is laid out in scenes full of dramatic action with a limited amount of narrative exposition; lots of real-time dramatic action readily transferable to film/television. (Richard Warren Comments About His Writing Style – Richard Warren Field Guest Blog Post About Modern Novel Writing)
  7. Roles attractive to high profile actor/actresses, roles that could lead to Oscar-worthy/Emmy-worthy performances.
  8. Big action scenes alongside intimate dramatic scenes offering opportunities for all sorts of technical excellence, also with the potential for Oscar/Emmy recognition.

“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Philip II of France Makes a Promise and Leaves for Home July 31, 2011

Posted by rwf1954 in Acre, Conrad of Montferrat, crusades, Guy of Lusignan, history, medieval period, Philip II of France, Richard the Lionheart, the crusades, third crusade, Tyre.
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(This post is the 30th of what will be approximately 70 posts following 820th anniversary highlights of what history now calls the “Third Crusade.” My novel, The Swords of Faith, tells the story of this legendary clash between Richard the Lionheart and Saladin.) 

*****

Capturing Acre was a great victory for the western Christians, an ending to a bitter, ugly struggle. But it was only a first step toward accomplishing the aims of the Christian forces. It was now time to consolidate the victory and move south toward Jerusalem. But Richard the Lionheart would have to contend with a serious problem before moving on. Philip II of France had had enough of fighting in Outremer for Christianity. He announced he was going home. The Duke of Burgundy would stay behind with the large part of the French army not returning with Philip. On the one hand, this was fine with Richard, who would now take unambiguous command of the western Christian forces. But Philip might well decide to nibble away at Richard’s holdings in France after his return. Richard needed to deal with that problem. 820 years ago today, Philip II of France took an oath that he would not attempt to take any of Richard’s territories while Richard was still fighting for Christianity in the eastern Mediterranean. Philip then left Acre, sailing north. Before Philip left, an agreement was reached that Guy of Lusignan would rule as King of Jerusalem, but that Conrad of Montferrat would become king at Guy’s death. This idea was not really acceptable to Conrad, but with Philip leaving, there was not much Conrad could do. We can question if Richard really thought Philip would keep his word. But he had to make the attempt. Philip II of France would leave for France on August 3rd from Tyre.

Previous 820th Anniversary Posts:

July 4th – The 820th Anniversary of the Launch of the “Third Crusade”

October 4th – Richard the Lionheart Sacks Messina

November 3rd – Queen Sibylla Dies

November 11th – Richard the Lionheart Signs a Treaty with King Tancred of Sicily

November 15th – Queen Isabella’s Marriage to Humphrey of Toron is Annulled

November 19th – Archbishop of Canterbury Dies

November 24th – Conrad of Montferrat Marries Queen Isabella

December 25th – Richard the Lionheart Feasts at Christmas

December 31st – Shipwreck at Acre; Muslim Defenders Lose Resupply

January 5th – A Wall Comes Down, Presenting an Opportunity

January 20th – Frederick of Swabia Dies; Leopold of Austria Becomes Top-Ranked German Royalty at Acre

February 2nd – A Playful “Joust” Gets Out of Hand in Sicily

February 13th – Saladin’s Forces Relieve the Garrison at Acre

March 3rd – Richard the Lionheart Settles the Alice Marriage Controversy—Sort Of

March 30th – Philip II Leaves Sicily; Berengeria Arrives

April 10th – Richard the Lionheart Leaves Sicily for “Outremer”

April 20th – Philip II of France Lands at Acre

April 22nd – Richard the Lionheart Lands at Rhodes After His Fleet Scatters

May 1st – Richard the Lionheart Leaves Rhodes to Rescue His Sister and Fiancée

May 8th – Richard the Lionheart and His Troops Storm Limassol

May 11th – Crusaders Opposed to Conrad Visit Richard the Lionheart on Cyprus

May 12th – Richard the Lionheart Marries Princess Berengeria

May 30th – Fighting Intensifies at Acre

June 5th – Richard Leaves Famagusta for the Eastern Mediterranean Coast/Saladin Moves his Camp

June 6th – Richard the Lionheart Refused Admittance to Tyre

June 8th – Richard the Lionheart Arrives at Acre

June 11th – Saladin’s Relief Ship Sinks

June 25th – Conrad of Montferrat Leaves Acre; Saladin’s Receives Reinforcements

July 12th – “Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Acre Surrenders

To review a comprehensive catalog of historical fiction set during the medieval time period, go to http://www.medieval-novels.com:80/.

“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Acre Surrenders July 12, 2011

Posted by rwf1954 in Acre, Conrad of Montferrat, crusades, history, Leopold of Austria, medieval period, Philip II of France, Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, the crusades, third crusade.
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(This post is the 29th of what will be approximately 70 posts following 820th anniversary highlights of what history now calls the “Third Crusade.” My novel, The Swords of Faith, tells the story of this legendary clash between Richard the Lionheart and Saladin.) 

*****

820 years ago today, Saladin’s forces at Acre finally surrendered the city to western Christian forces on the basis of terms negotiated between al-Mashtuh inside Acre, and Richard the Lionheart. It was a bitter defeat for Saladin who had fought to hold on to the city for nearly two years. It was not a dramatic victory for Richard, in that his forces did not take the city by storm after many attempts to do so. Events ebbed and flowed over the days leading up to the surrender:

  • July 3rd: French forces breached the wall at Acre but could not take the city.
  • July 4th: Richard rejected surrender terms from the Acre garrison that he thought were too lenient for a surrender after such a long siege.
  • July 5th: Saladin could not get forces under his command to carry out an order to attack the Christian camp. (With Saladin’s fragile coalition, this was not the last time he would face this problem.)
  • July 7th: A swimmer arrived with a last appeal from the defenders; if nothing could be done to relieve them, they would need to negotiate whatever terms were available.
  • July 11th: English/Pisan forces mounted an attack but could not take the city.

Saladin’s first reaction was to disavow the terms of the surrender. He told the swimmer who had brought the news to prepare for a quick return trip through the surrounding waters to the trapped Acre garrison. But the western Christian banners were going up along the walls. And the agreement was made in Saladin’s name.

Saladin cringed at the terms:

  • The city and everything in it including the ships in the harbor were surrendered to the Western Christian forces.
  • 200,000 dinars were to be paid.
  • The Muslims were to release 1500 undesignated prisoners and 100 specifically identified prisoners.
  • 10,000 dinars were to be paid to Conrad of Montferrat, and 4000 to Conrad’s associates.
  • The “True Cross” taken by Saladin’s forces at the Battle of Hattin in 1187 was also to be returned to the western Christians.
  • After the terms were met, Richard would release the 3000 Acre prisoners held by his forces.

Saladin knew these were extreme terms, potentially unfulfillable terms. The money was huge, and some of the requested prisoners were not even under Saladin’s control. But he would need to try to honor these terms. The extremity of the terms would create consequences that would lead to one of the most controversial actions of the “Third Crusade.”

With respect to those banners going up along the walls of Acre, one belonged to Leopold of Austria. He had his banner placed right next to those belonging to King Philip of France and King Richard. By Leopold’s logic, he was a representative of the German Western Empire. Richard had the banner torn down and thrown into the moat. By Richard’s logic, Leopold was a mere duke, offering little contribution to the victory achieved by the English and French kings. This action against Leopold’s banner would result in serious consequences to Richard a few years later when he tried to return from the “Third Crusade” through territory controlled by Leopold of Austria.

Previous 820th Anniversary Posts:

July 4th – The 820th Anniversary of the Launch of the “Third Crusade”

October 4th – Richard the Lionheart Sacks Messina

November 3rd – Queen Sibylla Dies

November 11th – Richard the Lionheart Signs a Treaty with King Tancred of Sicily

November 15th – Queen Isabella’s Marriage to Humphrey of Toron is Annulled

November 19th – Archbishop of Canterbury Dies

November 24th – Conrad of Montferrat Marries Queen Isabella

December 25th – Richard the Lionheart Feasts at Christmas

December 31st – Shipwreck at Acre; Muslim Defenders Lose Resupply

January 5th – A Wall Comes Down, Presenting an Opportunity

January 20th – Frederick of Swabia Dies; Leopold of Austria Becomes Top-Ranked German Royalty at Acre

February 2nd – A Playful “Joust” Gets Out of Hand in Sicily

February 13th – Saladin’s Forces Relieve the Garrison at Acre

March 3rd – Richard the Lionheart Settles the Alice Marriage Controversy—Sort Of

March 30th – Philip II Leaves Sicily; Berengeria Arrives

April 10th – Richard the Lionheart Leaves Sicily for “Outremer”

April 20th – Philip II of France Lands at Acre

April 22nd – Richard the Lionheart Lands at Rhodes After His Fleet Scatters

May 1st – Richard the Lionheart Leaves Rhodes to Rescue His Sister and Fiancée

May 8th – Richard the Lionheart and His Troops Storm Limassol

May 11th – Crusaders Opposed to Conrad Visit Richard the Lionheart on Cyprus

May 12th – Richard the Lionheart Marries Princess Berengeria

May 30th – Fighting Intensifies at Acre

June 5th – Richard Leaves Famagusta for the Eastern Mediterranean Coast/Saladin Moves his Camp

June 6th – Richard the Lionheart Refused Admittance to Tyre

June 8th – Richard the Lionheart Arrives at Acre

June 11th – Saladin’s Relief Ship Sinks

June 25th – Conrad of Montferrat Leaves Acre; Saladin’s Receives Reinforcements

To review a comprehensive catalog of historical fiction set during the medieval time period, go to http://www.medieval-novels.com:80/.

“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Conrad of Montferrat Leaves Acre; Saladin’s Receives Reinforcements June 25, 2011

Posted by rwf1954 in Acre, Conrad of Montferrat, crusades, history, medieval period, Philip II of France, Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, the crusades, third crusade, Tyre.
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(This post is the 28th of what will be approximately 70 posts following 820th anniversary highlights of what history now calls the “Third Crusade.” My novel, The Swords of Faith, tells the story of this legendary clash between Richard the Lionheart and Saladin.) 

*****

Saladin continued to stave off defeat at Acre with every tactic he could devise to put into operation. Yes, the stalemate had shifted to favor his western Christian enemies, with attacks day after day against his forces. But Saladin had two reasons to hope. First, during the last week of June, reinforcements arrived from Egypt, from Mosul and from northern Syria. This gave Saladin more forces to execute one of his most successful tactics—when western Christians attacked Acre from the front, Muslim soldiers inside Acre pounded kettle drums, signaling Saladin’s forces to attack the Christians from the rear. One of these attacks reached and overran the Christian camp, reducing Philip II of France, in command of the initial western Christian attack, to tears. Second, 820 years ago today, news arrived that Conrad had left Acre and returned to Tyre. This revealed serious dissension among Saladin’s western Christian enemies. Would it be enough dissension to dilute the growing Christian strength? And if these small reasons to hope did not result in a victory for Saladin, perhaps they would result in favorable terms to end the hostilities there. Negotiations for terms between the Muslim Acre garrison and the western Christian attackers continued simultaneously with the fighting. The end of the stalemate seemed in sight—the question was how it would end, and how to manage that ending into the best possible advantage.

Previous 820th Anniversary Posts:

July 4th – The 820th Anniversary of the Launch of the “Third Crusade”

October 4th – Richard the Lionheart Sacks Messina

November 3rd – Queen Sibylla Dies

November 11th – Richard the Lionheart Signs a Treaty with King Tancred of Sicily

November 15th – Queen Isabella’s Marriage to Humphrey of Toron is Annulled

November 19th – Archbishop of Canterbury Dies

November 24th – Conrad of Montferrat Marries Queen Isabella

December 25th – Richard the Lionheart Feasts at Christmas

December 31st – Shipwreck at Acre; Muslim Defenders Lose Resupply

January 5th – A Wall Comes Down, Presenting an Opportunity

January 20th – Frederick of Swabia Dies; Leopold of Austria Becomes Top-Ranked German Royalty at Acre

February 2nd – A Playful “Joust” Gets Out of Hand in Sicily

February 13th – Saladin’s Forces Relieve the Garrison at Acre

March 3rd – Richard the Lionheart Settles the Alice Marriage Controversy—Sort Of

March 30th – Philip II Leaves Sicily; Berengeria Arrives

April 10th – Richard the Lionheart Leaves Sicily for “Outremer”

April 20th – Philip II of France Lands at Acre

April 22nd – Richard the Lionheart Lands at Rhodes After His Fleet Scatters

May 1st – Richard the Lionheart Leaves Rhodes to Rescue His Sister and Fiancée

May 8th – Richard the Lionheart and His Troops Storm Limassol

May 11th – Crusaders Opposed to Conrad Visit Richard the Lionheart on Cyprus

May 12th – Richard the Lionheart Marries Princess Berengeria

May 30th – Fighting Intensifies at Acre

June 5th – Richard Leaves Famagusta for the Eastern Mediterranean Coast/Saladin Moves his Camp

June 6th – Richard the Lionheart Refused Admittance to Tyre

June 8th – Richard the Lionheart Arrives at Acre

June 11th – Saladin’s Relief Ship Sinks

To review a comprehensive catalog of historical fiction set during the medieval time period, go to http://www.medieval-novels.com:80/.

“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Richard the Lionheart Refused Admittance to Tyre June 6, 2011

Posted by rwf1954 in Acre, Conrad of Montferrat, crusades, Guy of Lusignan, history, medieval period, Outremer, Philip II of France, Richard the Lionheart, the crusades, third crusade, Tyre.
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(This post is the 25th of what will be approximately 70 posts following 820th anniversary highlights of what history now calls the “Third Crusade.” My novel, The Swords of Faith, tells the story of this legendary clash between Richard the Lionheart and Saladin.) 

*****

820 years ago today, Richard the Lionheart finally reached the Mediterranan coast, just under a year after leaving from France, over 3 ½ years after taking the vow to dedicate himself to conquering Jerusalem for Christianity, a vow he had taken when he was still a prince. His ultimate destination was Acre, just down the coast, to join the battle between western Christian forces and Muslim forces under the command of Saladin. But he stopped off at Tyre. Much to his surprise, Richard received a message that he would not be permitted to enter the town. The garrison commanders acted on orders from Conrad and Philip II of France, both at the siege at Acre. So Richard got his first direct taste of the intensity of the rivalry between Guy of Lusignan and Conrad of Montferrat for the title of King of Jerusalem. (Richard supported Guy, and Conrad—Philip’s candidate—was in charge at Tyre.) Richard camped outside the walls at Tyre before moving down the coast, but was not permitted the comforts of the city. This rivalry would chronically permeate the Christian side of the “third crusade.” Richard and his fleet moved on toward Acre the next day.

Previous 820th Anniversary Posts:

July 4th – The 820th Anniversary of the Launch of the “Third Crusade”

October 4th – Richard the Lionheart Sacks Messina

November 3rd – Queen Sibylla Dies

November 11th – Richard the Lionheart Signs a Treaty with King Tancred of Sicily

November 15th – Queen Isabella’s Marriage to Humphrey of Toron is Annulled

November 19th – Archbishop of Canterbury Dies

November 24th – Conrad of Montferrat Marries Queen Isabella

December 25th – Richard the Lionheart Feasts at Christmas

December 31st – Shipwreck at Acre; Muslim Defenders Lose Resupply

January 5th – A Wall Comes Down, Presenting an Opportunity

January 20th – Frederick of Swabia Dies; Leopold of Austria Becomes Top-Ranked German Royalty at Acre

February 2nd – A Playful “Joust” Gets Out of Hand in Sicily

February 13th – Saladin’s Forces Relieve the Garrison at Acre

March 3rd – Richard the Lionheart Settles the Alice Marriage Controversy—Sort Of

March 30th – Philip II Leaves Sicily; Berengeria Arrives

April 10th – Richard the Lionheart Leaves Sicily for “Outremer”

April 20th – Philip II of France Lands at Acre

April 22nd – Richard the Lionheart Lands at Rhodes After His Fleet Scatters

May 1st – Richard the Lionheart Leaves Rhodes to Rescue His Sister and Fiancée

May 8th – Richard the Lionheart and His Troops Storm Limassol

May 11th – Crusaders Opposed to Conrad Visit Richard the Lionheart on Cyprus

May 12th – Richard the Lionheart Marries Princess Berengeria

May 30th – Fighting Intensifies at Acre

June 5th – Richard Leaves Famagusta for the Eastern Mediterranean Coast/Saladin Moves his Camp

To review a comprehensive catalog of historical fiction set during the medieval time period, go to http://www.medieval-novels.com:80/.

“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Crusaders Opposed to Conrad Visit Richard the Lionheart on Cyprus May 11, 2011

Posted by rwf1954 in Conrad of Montferrat, crusades, Cyprus, Guy of Lusignan, history, Isaac Ducas Comenus, medieval period, Philip II of France, Richard the Lionheart, the crusades, third crusade.
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(This post is the 21st of what will be approximately 70 posts following 820th anniversary highlights of what history now calls the “third crusade.” My novel, The Swords of Faith, tells the story of this legendary clash between Richard the Lionheart and Saladin.) 

*****

820 years ago today, Guy of Lusignan, his brother Geoffrey, along with a contingent of their supporters, arrived at Limassol in Cyprus to find Richard Lionheart and ask what was holding him up. Philip II of France had been at Acre for three weeks, planning attacks, setting up siege engines and asserting his authority. Guy of Lusignan was still the nominal King of Jerusalem, but Philip of France supported Conrad of Montferrat for the throne, and if Philip presided over a successful result in Acre, Philip might gain the power and influence to replace Guy with Conrad. They urged Richard to make his way to Acre as quickly as possible.

Richard understood their concerns. Yes, his sister and future wife were now safe, and Richard had completed an agreement to repossess his lost cargo. He had also appropriated supplies and booty from his mini-campaign on the island. But Richard wasn’t ready to leave just yet. As long as so much food had passed into his possession, he decided this was a great time for a wedding feast. He wasn’t going to wait any longer before taking his bride and getting to the task of siring an heir to the throne. Richard invited these newly arrived dignitaries to join the feast.

And, as long as they were there, Guy of Lusignan and all of those accompanying him to Cyprus might as well help Richard take over the island.

Isaac, the “Emperor of Cyprus” had made an agreement with Richard to return the cargo he had seized, to allow Richard’s men to purchase supplies without paying taxes, and to send one hundred men with Richard to fight Saladin in the eastern Mediterranean. But the minute Isaac had the opportunity he fled again, signaling no inclination to keep the agreement.

Richard wasn’t going to tolerate this sort of insolence. And maybe he was even glad Isaac had responded this way. This gave Richard, who saw the strategic value for western Christian forces of possessing the island, a justification for taking over Cyprus. Acre could wait just a little longer.

What could Guy and his brother do but accept?

Richard, Guy, Conrad and Cyprus would combine in a most unusual and unpredictable way about a year later. But for now, Richard had a wedding to plan and an island to take.

Previous 820th Anniversary Posts:

July 4th – The 820th Anniversary of the Launch of the “Third Crusade”

October 4th – Richard the Lionheart Sacks Messina

November 3rd – Queen Sibylla Dies

November 11th – Richard the Lionheart Signs a Treaty with King Tancred of Sicily

November 15th – Queen Isabella’s Marriage to Humphrey of Toron is Annulled

November 19th – Archbishop of Canterbury Dies

November 24th – Conrad of Montferrat Marries Queen Isabella

December 25th – Richard the Lionheart Feasts at Christmas

December 31st – Shipwreck at Acre; Muslim Defenders Lose Resupply

January 5th – A Wall Comes Down, Presenting an Opportunity

January 20th – Frederick of Swabia Dies; Leopold of Austria Becomes Top-Ranked German Royalty at Acre

February 2nd – A Playful “Joust” Gets Out of Hand in Sicily

February 13th – Saladin’s Forces Relieve the Garrison at Acre

March 3rd – Richard the Lionheart Settles the Alice Marriage Controversy—Sort Of

March 30th – Philip II Leaves Sicily; Berengeria Arrives

April 10th – Richard the Lionheart Leaves Sicily for “Outremer”

April 20th – Philip II of France Lands at Acre

April 22nd – Richard the Lionheart Lands at Rhodes After His Fleet Scatters

May 1st – Richard the Lionheart Leaves Rhodes to Rescue His Sister and Fiancée

May 8th – Richard the Lionheart and His Troops Storm Limassol

To review a comprehensive catalog of historical fiction set during the medieval time period, go to http://www.medieval-novels.com:80/.

“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Philip II of France Lands at Acre April 20, 2011

Posted by rwf1954 in Acre, Conrad of Montferrat, crusades, history, medieval period, Philip II of France, Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, the crusades, third crusade, Uncategorized.
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(This post is the seventeenth of what will be approximately seventy posts following 820th anniversary highlights of what history now calls the “third crusade.” My novel, The Swords of Faith, tells the story of this legendary clash between Richard the Lionheart and Saladin.)

*****

Three weeks after leaving Sicily, 820 years ago today, Philip II of France and his fleet landed at Acre on the east coast of the Mediterranean Sea, eager to join the fight against Muslims over which religion would control Jerusalem. Conrad of Montferrat, Philip’s cousin, Philip’s preferred candidate for King of Jerusalem over Richard the Lionheart’s vassal, Guy of Lusignan, greeted him warmly at his arrival. Philip immediately joined the effort to tighten the siege at Acre, anticipating that soon Richard the Lionheart, with his huge fleet, with the huge siege towers and machines built in Sicily on their way in large pieces for reassembly, would arrive to bring overwhelming force against Saladin’s forces, within and without Acre. Saladin’s chronicler reported that western Christian forces at Acre were disappointed by the small size of Philip’s force. By all accounts, Philip’s force was not going to tip the scales at Acre. Western Christians expected that Richard’s larger force was right behind Philip. But the same Mediterranean climate that brought Philip to Acre on calm spring seas, would not be so considerate to Richard the Lionheart.

Previous 820th Anniversary Posts:

July 4th – The 820th Anniversary of the Launch of the “Third Crusade”

October 4th – Richard the Lionheart Sacks Messina

November 3rd – Queen Sibylla Dies

November 11th – Richard the Lionheart Signs a Treaty with King Tancred of Sicily

November 15th – Queen Isabella’s Marriage to Humphrey of Toron is Annulled

November 19th – Archbishop of Canterbury Dies

November 24th – Conrad of Montferrat Marries Queen Isabella

December 25th – Richard the Lionheart Feasts at Christmas

December 31st – Shipwreck at Acre; Muslim Defenders Lose Resupply

January 5th – A Wall Comes Down, Presenting an Opportunity

January 20th – Frederick of Swabia Dies; Leopold of Austria Becomes Top-Ranked German Royalty at Acre

February 2nd – A Playful “Joust” Gets Out of Hand in Sicily

February 13th – Saladin’s Forces Relieve the Garrison at Acre

March 3rd – Richard the Lionheart Settles the Alice Marriage Controversy—Sort Of

March 30th – Philip II Leaves Sicily; Berengeria Arrives

April 10th – Richard the Lionheart Leaves Sicily for “Outremer”

To review a comprehensive catalog of historical fiction set during the medieval time period, go to http://www.medieval-novels.com:80/.

“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Philip II Leaves Sicily; Berengeria Arrives March 30, 2011

Posted by rwf1954 in Berengeria, crusades, history, medieval period, Philip II of France, Richard the Lionheart, Tancred of Sicily, the crusades, third crusade, Uncategorized.
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(This post is the fifteenth of what will be approximately seventy posts following 820th anniversary highlights of what history now calls the “third crusade.” My novel, The Swords of Faith, tells the story of this legendary clash between Richard the Lionheart and Saladin.) 

*****

Earlier this month, we had the anniversary of Richard the Lionheart and Philip II’s reconciliation over Richard’s broken promise to marry Philip’s sister Alice. We learned they agreed on a new treaty of “friendship.” 820 years ago today, events demonstrated just how shaky, even hollow, that treaty was, and that the Richard-Philip rivalry still hung over the Third Crusade like dark clouds threatening a storm. Just a few hours on March 30th told the story—Philip left Sicily for the eastern Mediterranean, and a few hours later, Berengeria, Richard’s future wife, accompanied by Richard’s legendary mother Eleanor of Aquitaine, arrived. Right after Philip left, with Richard’s galleys accompanying him out of the harbor, as if making sure he was gone, Eleanor and Berengeria arrived. (Richard’s mother would leave for home in just a few days. She had already been on a crusade years before, the unsuccessful “Second Crusade.”) This couldn’t have been a coincidence. Philip escaped Sicily to avoid witnessing Richard joining his bride-to-be. Richard made sure Philip was gone before bringing her in. Friendship? What “friend” leaves just before his “friend’s” fiancé arrives, in a calculated move of avoidance? Allies? For awhile. When it would be necessary, in the coming months. But the western Christian side of the Third Crusade would continue to function in the broad shadow of this conflict.

Previous 820th Anniversary Posts:

July 4th – The 820th Anniversary of the Launch of the “Third Crusade”

October 4th – Richard the Lionheart Sacks Messina

November 3rd – Queen Sibylla Dies

November 11th – Richard the Lionheart Signs a Treaty with King Tancred of Sicily

November 15th – Queen Isabella’s Marriage to Humphrey of Toron is Annulled

November 19th – Archbishop of Canterbury Dies

November 24th – Conrad of Montferrat Marries Queen Isabella

December 25th – Richard the Lionheart Feasts at Christmas

December 31st – Shipwreck at Acre; Muslim Defenders Lose Resupply

January 5th – A Wall Comes Down, Presenting an Opportunity

January 20th – Frederick of Swabia Dies; Leopold of Austria Becomes Top-Ranked German Royalty at Acre

February 2nd – A Playful “Joust” Gets Out of Hand in Sicily

February 13th – Saladin’s Forces Relieve the Garrison at Acre

March 3rd – Richard the Lionheart Settles the Alice Marriage Controversy—Sort Of

To review a comprehensive catalog of historical fiction set during the medieval time period, go to http://www.medieval-novels.com:80/.

“Third Crusade” 820th Anniversary Series: Richard the Lionheart Settles the Alice Marriage Controversy—Sort Of March 3, 2011

Posted by rwf1954 in crusades, history, medieval period, Philip II of France, Richard the Lionheart, Tancred of Sicily, the crusades, third crusade, Uncategorized.
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 (This post is the fourteenth of what will be approximately seventy posts following 820th anniversary highlights of what history now calls the “third crusade.” My novel, The Swords of Faith, tells the story of this legendary clash between Richard the Lionheart and Saladin.)

*****

820 years ago today, Richard the Lionheart and Philip II of France started a five-day meeting at Catania, Sicily to address various issues that had arisen between the two kings. Philip II had been planting doubts in King Tancred of Sicily’s mind about the alliance between Tancred and Richard forged late the previous year. But Richard convinced Tancred that these doubts were Philip-fiction, and Philip found himself confronted with a duplicitous letter he had written to Tancred about Richard. Philip then went on the offensive, insisting the letter was a forgery, concocted by Richard as a pretense to cast aside his twenty-year betrothal to Philip’s sister Alice. Richard’s mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine, was traveling toward them, now in Brindisi, Italy. Rumors circulated that she had a bride for Richard—not Alice. (The rumors were true. Berengeria of Navarre was on her way to marry the English king.)  Richard confronted Philip with rumors of his own—Alice had been deflowered by Richard’s father, Henry II, while at the English court. Richard assured Philip witnesses could be produced who would state that Alice and Henry had produced a child together. Tempers flared. Count Philip of Flanders intervened as an intermediary, but he leaned toward Richard’s point of view. How could Richard, King of England, marry a woman so impure? Philip realized Richard was never going to marry Alice. But how could he tolerate this insult: his sister, cast aside this way, for a Basque princess? The answer was money—ten thousand marks. This payment acknowledged the insult by Richard’s family against Philip’s family (King Henry II’s bad behavior), and was a gesture to make Philip’s sister whole. All other matters of controversy between them were also resolved in a new treaty, and Philip declared publicly that he and Richard were allies and friends again. So, that settled their problems?  Not really. On March 30th, less than a month later, events would show just how not-settled this rivalry remained!

Previous 820th Anniversary Posts:

July 4th – The 820th Anniversary of the Launch of the “Third Crusade”

October 4th – Richard the Lionheart Sacks Messina

November 3rd – Queen Sibylla Dies

November 11th – Richard the Lionheart Signs a Treaty with King Tancred of Sicily

November 15th – Queen Isabella’s Marriage to Humphrey of Toron is Annulled

November 19th – Archbishop of Canterbury Dies

November 24th – Conrad of Montferrat Marries Queen Isabella

December 25th – Richard the Lionheart Feasts at Christmas

December 31st – Shipwreck at Acre; Muslim Defenders Lose Resupply

January 5th – A Wall Comes Down, Presenting an Opportunity

January 20th – Frederick of Swabia Dies; Leopold of Austria Becomes Top-Ranked German Royalty at Acre

February 2nd – A Playful “Joust” Gets Out of Hand in Sicily

February 13th – Saladin’s Forces Relieve the Garrison at Acre

To review a comprehensive catalog of historical fiction set during the medieval time period, go to http://www.medieval-novels.com:80/.